Last Saturday was the Georgetown Hamfest held by the Grant Amateur Radio Club.
I noticed that during the CQWW contest, I could only get a response from others if I yelled into the mic. I'm sure my wife didn't care too much for that, and it isn't good for me, either. So naturally, I went to the hamfest looking for a good mic. I stumbled on a Heil Pro. This is a very small mic, but since it will eventually be attached to an arm, that's no big deal.
So now I have a mic with a 4-pin XLR connector and need to take it into a 1/4" stereo jack. I have to deal with impedances (possibly the problem with my current mic, so I may not have truly fixed anything by buying a new mic). Fortunately, I have some known devices to get an idea from. Expect that next week's blog post will talk about this more in detail.
In the meantime, the mic smells like cigarrette smoke, so I've got it sitting in a container of baking soda and will do more later in the week.
First CW QSO... Almost
The big part of getting into the shack Sunday was to do my first CW QSO with another SKCC member that is hunting the prefix award. I couldn't hear him at all, and he couldn't hear me. After checking multiple times, I had my daughter hold down the key and I listened on my truck's radio. I didn't hear a tone (though I did hear a carrier) and I didn't see my on the Reverse Beacon Network, so I feared the worst. I checked some of the voltages in the Omni, and finding nothing amiss (and after talking to a few on Twitter about it), I put things back together and looked at things via the Softrock SDR. I was greeted by the sound of a tone, so I guess things are working okay and there was probably another perfectly valid reason why my truck's radio wasn't making the tone.
Incidentally, one of the big things I WAS concerned about was that the sound of my rig on the air would be poor, mostly due to the fact that the sidetone generator on my rig is generating a sawtooth (see the video below) instead of a sine wave. Looking at things in SDRSharp put that fear to rest. Hopefully next weekend.